It’s happened. Chris Hammer’s bestselling Scrublands novel has been adapted into a thrilling new miniseries. Scrublands is set in the fictional town of Riversend, where murders, drought, and mysteries abound.
This miniseries centres on a journalist, Martin Scarsden. Martin has travelled to Riversend to write a story about a young priest named Byron Swift, who opened fire on his congregation, killing five parishioners. What starts as a simple piece quickly unfurls into a town-wide conspiracy.
Martin is played by Luke Arnold of McLeod’s Daughters and Black Sails fame. Meanwhile, Byron is played by Jay Ryan, from Neighbours and IT: Chapter Two.
However, while the Scrublands book was set in NSW, the Scrublands series is set in Victoria. What’s more, the Scrublands series was subsequently filmed in Victoria.
According to Hammer, he’s still stoked with this series, despite this change taking place.
“It’s official: Production is underway on the streaming/television production of Scrublands,” Hammer wrote back in March, “and I could not be happy with the cast, the crew, and the production company!”
“Filming is taking place in regional Victoria on the four-part series. It’s being made by production company Easy Tiger, in association with Vic Screen.”
So, with Hammer’s blessing, let’s dive into the Scrublands’ filming location. Maldon, Victoria, here we come.
Where Was Scrublands Filmed?
Scrublands was primarily filming location was Maldon, Victoria. This regional town is filled to the brim with old weatherboard buildings, gold mining signs, and a dry heat.
According to historical records, Maldon was established in 1853 as a Victorian gold rush town. It had a reputation for giving miners excellent yields from very small locations. These locations came to be known as “poor man’s diggings”.
By 1891, most of the gold rush had dried up, and the town’s population decreased.
As it stands, Maldon has a population of around 1,500 people. It is also home to a historical railway, multiple museums, and an iconic regional bakery.
Back in February 2023, Australian Rural & Regional News reported that the filming of Scrublands was underway in Maldon. According to the locals, the filming team was unobtrusive and polite.
Scrublands was also filmed in Castlemaine, Victoria. Like Maldon, this regional town is about an hour-and-a-half north-west of Melbourne.
Castlemaine is renowned for its heritage public buildings, wide streets, and former gold mining shops. It’s also known for having a vibrant arts culture.
According to Arnold, the locals in both Maldon and Castlemaine were a joy to work around.
“Everyone was so lovely and very welcoming,” Arnold said in a media statement. “They were so understanding and accommodating to our needs.”
Is Scrublands Based on a True Story?
As previously stated, no, Scrublands is not based on a true story. However, Hammer was inspired by real life parallels. For instance, Hammer spent a summer travelling along the Murray-Darling Basin, and was influenced by the people he met along the way.
“I had this idea of setting a story in the middle of a drought, surprised that more authors hadn’t used the drought as a background, because it went for so long, it’s still going really,” Hammer said.
“And I wanted this sense of isolation, a confined township, oppressive, that feeling of being trapped.”
Scrublands is now available for streaming, only on Stan.